According to several Democrat political consultants presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama spent part of his Hawaiian vacation working on weaning himself from a heavy dependence on teleprompters. Even in what are staged as “town hall” events for Obama, remarks are scripted or formatted into bullet points that scroll on teleprompter screens. Obama has had several embarrassing events where the teleprompter either malfunctioned or the screens were not fully visible.
“He just locks down and can’t get the words out,” says one political consultant. “For such a fine speaker, it’s really quite remarkable that he’s had issues.”
Obama’s troubles with unscripted moments contributed to his campaign’s refusal to participate in town hall format debates or discussions with Sen. John McCain, who feels much more comfortable in the unscripted moments.
SAY IT AIN’T JOE
Three Republican state party chairmen have confirmed that within the last 36 hours they received calls from senior McCain presidential campaign advisers asking for their feedback on a McCain-Sen. Joseph Lieberman Republican ticket.
“It wasn’t hypothetical. They wanted to know what our state’s conservative base would do, how our convention delegation would react and if our state party bylaws would make it difficult to put a non-Republican on the ballot,” says one state party chairman from a Southern state that has voted Republican in recent national elections. “I jokingly asked if this meant they were thinking about Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee for the ticket, but it was obvious where they were going. It was Lieberman.”
McCain has sought the counsel of several prominent conservatives, and has pointed to a recent article on National Review Online that he believes indicates that many conservatives would not bolt from their support for him should he put a liberal Democrat on the bottom of the ticket.
But not everyone is on board with the plan: Senator Sam Brownback, who is considered one of McCain’s strongest backers, and who has probably done more than most to solidify conservative, religious support for McCain, is said by campaign insiders to have opposed the Lieberman gambit.
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